NSTDA and Maejo University recently reached an agreement to strengthen collaboration on R&D, education, and technology outreach of smart farming technologies, aiming to enhance competitiveness of Thai farming sector. Under this partnership, the two parties will promote smart farming technologies to farmers through technology testing and demonstration at the agricultural facilities of Maejo University.

The project has already installed a smart IoT weather station system at longan, mango and macadamia orchards, covering 11-ha land in total. Smart IoT weather station measures and monitors environmental conditions affecting agricultural activities with the IoT platform, allowing users to obtain readings of soil moisture, humidity, temperature, light intensity, rainfall, wind direction and speed. These environmental data enable users to effectively plan their farming activities.

In addition, Smart Plant Watering Control and Environmental Data Monitoring System has been installed at the university’s organic longan orchard. Developed by NECTEC-NSTDA, Smart Plant Watering Control and Environmental Data Monitoring System enables users to monitor environmental data that affects agricultural activities and activate irrigation system based on the value of the data via a mobile phone or a computer with internet connection. Data on optimum soil moisture for longan plant growth obtained from the university’s study were used in programming the system. The trial experiment conducted by the university shows that the Smart Plant Watering Control and Environmental Data Monitoring System yields a better flowering and growth compared to manually-watering orchard. The equipment has been used in the university’s R&D activities, teaching as well as farmer outreach.

NSTDA and Maejo University plan to set up a showcase of greenhouse technology, ranging from traditional low-cost greenhouse to smart greenhouse, as well as related technologies such as production of seed, vegetable and herbal plants at the university’s Organic Seed Production Learning Center. Smart greenhouse smart greenhouse employs sensor technology and IoT to provide optimum cultivation condition by offering a controlled environment according to the crop’s requirements. Users can control and monitor the entire operation remotely from smartphone, tablet and computer, as well as retrieve historical data for monitoring and forecasting purposes. Currently, Organic Seed Production Learning Center is conducting field trials of NSTDA new tomato cultivars, including a cultivar resistant to TYLCV (Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus).